Portugal - General Information

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Country Name

Portugal (Portugal)

National Railway System

National Railway Operator

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses, the former national operator CP, has been broken down into separate elements.

The passenger operation is now CP Comboios de Portugal, a government owned company, currently organised into three business units. • Urban trains - Lisboa, Porto and Coimbra; • Alfa Pendular, Intercidades and International trains; • Regional and InterRegional trains

The freight operation, CP Carga, was sold as a condition of Portugal's bailout by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund; in January 2016 it was acquired by MSC Rail, a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) with locomotives and wagons branded "Medway".





UIC code

numeric 94; alpha P.


Journey Planner

Train times A realtime App/webpage with a train number/traction search facility can be found here.

Downloadable Timetable

  • CP: Train times, then scroll down to "Timetables in PDF Format".
  • Fertagus: Fertagus then select "Timetables"

Printed Timetable

None issued. Leaflets are available for Alfa Pendular / Intercidades (InterCity) and for suburban services around Lisboa and Porto. Fertagus issue their own timetable booklet. No printed material appears to be available for Regional services, only timetable board display posters; travellers by such services would be well advised to make their own print outs of the relevant web pages (which are the display posters).

Engineering Information



Printed Maps

Web-based Maps

  • A simplistic CP Network Map.
  • More detailed maps are in IP's [1] (Network Statement, annex 3.2.1 and annex
  • Thorsten Büker's Iberia Map dated September 2022, with enlargements for Porto and Lisbon


See CP's tickets page. Note the The Portugal Rail Pass, which offers unlimited travel for non-residents.

See also discounts. CP offers the Cartão Dourado for the over 60's, similar to RENFE's Tarjeta Dorada. However, CP requires applicants to offer official proof that their household income does not exceed the Portuguese average! There is however a straightforward 50% discount for over 65's on production of ID [as at September 2022].


Infrastructure Authority

Railway infrastructure is owned and maintained by Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP)- a merger of rail and road infrastructure authorities in 2015. There is no corporate entity with overall responsibility for railways see section 1.1 in the (Network Statement)

Network Statement

The Infraestruturas de Portugal Network Statement.


1668 mm.

The Aveiro – Sernada do Vouga – Espinho line is metre gauge.

The metros and tramways in both Lisboa and Porto, and the Metro Sul do Tejo, are 1435 mm gauge. The Sintra tramway is metre gauge.


25 kV 50 Hz. The former Estoril Railway from Lisboa Cais do Sodré to Cascais is to be converted from 1500V dc to 25kV 50 Hz by the end of 2026.

The Lisbon Metro (third rail), Metro de Sul and Porto light rail systems are 750 V dc. The Lisbon, Porto and Sintra heritage tramways are 600 V dc.

Rule of the road



In IP's Network Statement:

  • Annex 3.1 gives overall distances by Line
  • Annex gives more detailed distances between significant stations.

Private Railways

  • Travessia do Tejo, Transportes SA: Fertagus: (Lisboa) Roma-Areeiro - Campolide - (over Ponte 25 de Abril {25th April Bridge}) - Pragal - Pinhal Novo - Setúbal. Operates daily (operating on IP infrastructure)

Tourist Lines

  • Eléctrico de Sintra: (Metre gauge): Sintra to Praia das Maçãs (11 km). Operated by Sintra town council: services approximately hourly Sat-Sun & holiday afternoons, and two-hourly weekday afternoons in summer; two round trips Wednesdays to Sundays in winter (follow Timetable link from council's webpage). Sintra terminus is in front of Vila Alda, close to the Museu de Arte Moderna in the Estefânea district - 10 mins walk from CP station (follow Map link from council's webpage, although this does not show all of the request stops listed in the timetable).
  • Transpraia: (600mm gauge): Costa de Caparica - Fonte da Telha (7 km) along the beach. Operated by Transportes Recreativos da Praia do Sol, Lda.. Whilst the website still advertises it to run daily, June to September, the northern terminus, Praia Nova, looked derelict on a visit in July 2020. Whilst that may be have been due to Covid-19 it was not obvious it had operated in 2019. The compilers would appreciate any up to date information.
  • Praia do Barril railway: (600mm gauge): Pedras d'el Rei - Praia do Barril (beach) (1 km); operates frequently, during summer.


Lisboa; Porto; Sul do Tejo.

A track plan for the Metro Sul do Tejo is available on the Gleisplanweb site.


  • Lisboa (five routes)
  • Porto (three routes)
  • Sintra (see Tourist Lines, above). The Lisboa system contains the steepest adhesion worked tram tracks in the world, a gradient of 15% on route 28 on the west side of the city.

Track plans for all tram systems in Portugal are available on the Gleisplanweb site.

See also Portugal - Tram services over obscure routes

The Light Rail Transit Association's publication, The Tramways of Portugal can still be recommended (despite being somewhat dated, its fourth edition having been published in 1995).

Recent and Future Changes (most recent entries at top)

Recent Changes (Latest First)

The Linha do Oeste between Lisboa, Leiria and Figueira da Foz is being modernised in two tranches. A contract was awarded on 28 June 2022 for the first phase: electrification and renewal of 85 km from Mira Sintra-Meleças to Torres Vedras, including elimination of 15 level crossings. However, the maximum running speed will remain at 110 km/h. Completion was due by the end of 2023 but problems with delivery caused the contract to be transferred to the winners of the second phase. As at May 2024, no date is known for completion of the work.
The second phase covers electrification of 44 km between Caldas da Rainha and Torres Vedras. The line speed will be raised from 120 km/h to 140 km/h. There is also to be a 2 km cut-off at Outeiro da Cabeça. However, this is just north of Torres Vedras, so it is unclear if this is included in the project or merely an aspiration.

Train services were suspended on the Beira Alta line (Pampilhosa - Guarda - Vilar Formoso) on 19 April 2022 for an estimated 9 months for a €550m modernisation programme. However services are still suspended as at May 2024, replaced by buses between Coimbra, Guarda and Vilar Formoso. The priority was to increase the capacity for freight traffic, allowing the operation of 750m long trains rather than the existing 400m. This includes the new 3.2 km Concordância da Mealhada at Pampilhosa to allow direct access to the Porto area.

The Covilhã - Guarda section of the Beira Baixa line reopened to passengers on 2 May 2021, having been used for the first time by a freight train on 18 April, following electrification. Passenger services had ceased from 9 March 2009. This included the new 1.5 km Concordância das Beiras curve, avoiding Guarda.

Electrification of the final section of the Minho line, from Viana do Castelo to Valença, was officially inaugurated on 29 April 2021.

The RENFE combined Sud Express and Lusitania Trenhotel to/from Lisboa was suspended on 17 March 2020, following the national lockdown in Spain, and never reinstated. This was the only passenger train across the border between Vilar Formoso and Fuentes de Oñoro.

Future Changes

Agreement has been reached to restore services on the (Porto -) Contumil - Leixões line. Services were reinstated in 2009 but suspended in 2011 because of low patronage, probably caused by their running to the inconvenient main line station of Ermesinde. The Contumil - Leça do Balio section is expected to begin running in 2024. Studies will be undertaken for the second phase to Leixões,

In late 2022 the government announced plans for a high speed ​​line between Lisboa Oriente and Porto Campanhã, with a €1bn contribution from the EU. This is a resurrection of the plan from 2005 which was a victim of the 2008 financial crash. The total length is 290 km. It is designed for operation at up to 300 km/h and will be 1668 mm gauge. This development is driven mainly by capacity constraints on the existing line. This is used in whole or in part by about 50% of all CP passenger services and 90% of all freight. It is to be delivered in three phases.

  • The first phase covers the 143 km between Porto and Soure and is expected to cost around €3·7bn, of which €729m will come from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility. It is divided into two lots: the 71 km between Porto and Oiã is estimated at €1·9bn and IP invited tenders for this work in January 2024. Tthe 72 km between Aveiro and Soure is estimated at at €1·7bn. The line would serve Porto’s Vila Nova de Gaia district with an underground station in Santo Ovídio, which will be served by the Metro do Porto light rail network. An additional road and rail bridge would be built between Porto and Gaia. Aveiro and Coimbra stations on the existing north-south main line would be redeveloped to enable high speed services to call; the plans envisage construction of a 17 km link from Aveiro to meet the new alignment at Canelas. Under current plans, the first section would be completed by 2028, reducing the travel time between Porto and Lisboa from 2h 50m to less than 2h.
  • The second phase, between Soure and Carregado near Lisboa, has an estimated cost of €1·5bn, with completion scheduled for the end of 2030. This element of the scheme would include quadrupling of the existing line between Castanheira do Ribatejo and Alverca.
  • The third phase, between Carregado and Lisboa, would be developed after 2030, reducing the Porto – Lisboa journey time to 1 h 15 min. The cost is estimated at €4·5bn.

The long promised new freight line [South International Corridor] connecting the ports of Sines, [with connections from Setúbal and Lisboa] to Caia on the Spanish border near Badajoz is moving forward. The 10km between Elvas and Caia, on the border with Spain, opened in 2021. However, the 79∙4 km new line between Évora and a triangular junction east of Elvas, which has gauge-convertible sleepers, is not yet complete. In January 2024 the Secretary of State admitted to the delay, but expected completion at the beginning of 2025. The route will be electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz.

In early February 2022 tenders were invited for the reconstruction of the 30 km metre gauge line between Oliveira de Azeméis and Sernada do Vouga. Work costing €4·9m should have been completed by the end of 2023, but has been delayed by 4 years.

Work to electrify Faro – Vila Real de Santo António started in November 2021. It was planned to be completed in October 2023 but work was still in progress in April 2024. Work on the Tunes – Lagos line was supposed to start in the second quarter of 2022 with completion planned by the end of 2024 but no firm information on the progress is available.

In September 2020 it was announced that the former Estoril Railway from Lisboa Cais do Sodré to Cascais was to be converted from 1500V DC to 25kV 50 Hz by the end of 2023. As at April 2024 no information is available.

In April 2020 the EU announced funding for expansion of the Metro do Porto: a new Line G from São Bento north west to Casa da Música and an extension of Line D from Santo Ovídio south east to Vila D’Este.

The governmental 'strategic infrastructure plan' in preparation in summer 2018 contained no investment for the Casa Branca - Beja or Régua - Pocinho lines. They may therefore be in danger of closure, especially the latter which is not in good condition. The 2020 plan envisages the Douro line being electrified to Régua by 2025.

Older Changes

For details of older changes prior to 2019 see Portugal - Older General Information.

Special Notes

Cascais (Estoril Railway) is now almost certainly the westernmost railhead in Europe (Valentia Harbour in Ireland held that honour until closure in 1960).

Timetable direction contains a trap for the unwary: circulaçoes ascendentes (which one might translate as "up trains") are travelling away from the major terminal (and thus the opposite of most British practice); such trains carry odd numbers (equivalent of French impair).

Ramal = branch line; conc. (concordancia) = chord or connection; ap. (apeadeiro) = halt; bif. (bifurcação) = junction.

See also